Welcome to the weekend, everyone! Are you ready for what the rest of this month has in store? No worries if you’re not – we’re here to help!
We’ll get to all the details you need to know to keep the family entertained this weekend soon (including our list of local Christmas light displays to check out, based on your recommendations), but a few things we’d like to highlight first.
Check out our annual Christmas Cheat Sheet, updated and ready to help you make the most of your last-minute tasks.
We also have an awesome list of stocking stuffer ideas for little ones; you can find that here. We’d love to make a list for bigger kids and teens, too – drop your ideas in the comments, please, and we’ll work on this for 2020! (And if you need more ideas, check out our Curated Christmas List; we asked other New Brunswick parents what gifts they’re giving this year, creating a list of more than 40 awesome ideas you can still use to finish off your shopping list.)
Speaking of 2020, remember Pickle Planet is your one-stop spot for all the information you need to enjoy time with your family in the Greater Moncton Area. We have a MEGA LIST of activities (with lots of ideas that are great for teens, not just toddlers!), a list of all the INDOOR and OUTDOOR SKATING options, a new guide to INDOOR SWIMMING, we’re in the process of updating our GUIDE TO WINTER OUTDOOR FUN IN GREATER MONCTON, we have a list of MAPLE CAMPS to visit, and our annual MEGA MARCH BREAK LIST is viewed by thousands and thousands of parents each year. ALL of these guides have advertising spots available, so if you’re a local business looking to get your name in front our readers, get in touch.
A note about weekend round ups: as things stand right now, we’re planning to create one round up to be published Wednesday, December 18 that will cover right through Christmas break and into January. We MAY update just before New Years, but we also need to spend time with our family — and Mama Pickle is heading to Texas on New Year’s Day to speak about influencers & digital marketing at an international conference of consignment sale owners and won’t be back in Canada until school is back in session. So be prepared for a little break in new content, but we’ll back – and you can always find dozens of ideas on the guides mentioned above.
And, as always, click through to our source links to confirm up-to-date details (weather cancellations, etc) before heading out, as sometimes things change quicker than we can make changes).
Now, on to this weekend! We’ve broken things into a few categories, so be sure to scroll through it all – and share with a friend or two, please; we promise to put in a good word with Santa if you do!
WHERE TO FIND SANTA
We love booking our spot to see Santa at CF Champlain; you can use the online tool and not have to wait in line when you arrive. He’s there until December 24.
There’s also a lovely set up at MacArthur’s Nurseries; Santa visits this Saturday and Sunday from 1-3pm and again on December 21st.
The giant gingerbread house is back at the Delta Beausejour, and Santa comes to check on it each night from 5pm to 8pm until December 21st; you can arrange school class and group visits by calling 506-877-7101 – tell them Pickle Planet sent you!
Santa is back at Bass Pro Shops; his schedule is 10am-8pm each day (10am-5pm on Sunday and Christmas Eve). Don’t forget to get a Bass Pass on your way into the store to get your time to visit with the big guy. Bass Pro is partnering with Salvation Army for a toy drive this week; donate a new, unwrapped toy and receive a free photo package. (There’s also an ice fishing demonstration at the shop this weekend!) We also see Bass Pro recently posted some sensory-sensitive options; check their details here.
On Saturday, Santa is popping into Rising Stars Daycare in Petitcodiac and everyone is invited! A donation gets you a photo with Santa; the money will go to buy backpacks for homeless individuals. There’s also Christmas storytime and crafts, too!
Santa is also making his annual visit to Toys for Big Boys this Saturday from 10am until noon. You can chat with the man himself, get your gifts wrapped, enjoy special discounts, and more.
He’s also stopping for a pancake breakfast in Shediac on Saturday! Bring your camera for photos, and enjoy a $5 feast – and children 12 and under eat free!
MRS. Claus is going to be at the Riverview Library on Saturday for a special storytime from 10am until 11am.
On Sunday, Santa will be skating in Petitcodiac from 1-2:30pm. Donations will be accepted to the school’s breakfast program.
HOLIDAY CONCERTS & PERFORMANCES
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the 18th annual holiday showcase featuring Les Muses, the Belivo Brothers and Roland Gauvin is on stage at the Capitol Theatre.
Jimmy Rankin brings his holiday show to Casino New Brunswick on Saturday.
Also happening this Saturday, a Classic Country Christmas show with Georgette Jones (daughter of George Jones and Tammy Wynette) and a host of musicians at the Moncton Wesleyan Celebration Centre.
Dieppe’s Club Extenso is hosting a modernized, rhythmic gymnastics version of The Nutcracker created by the club’s coaches. Catch this Saturday or Sunday at École Antonine-Maillet!
The annual MetroTones Pop Chorus Christmas Charity Concert is happening Sunday night at the Moncton Wesleyan Celebration Centre. Tickets are just $10 and all net proceeds go to support Food Depot Alimentaire, Karing Kitchen and the Ray of Hope Kitchen.
Wednesday night, George Canyon and Aaron Pritchett bring their 12 Days of Christmas tour to the Capitol Theatre in Moncton.
Thursday one of my favourite holiday shows comes to town, with the Barra MacNeils taking the stage.
And on Friday, December 20, Theatre New Brunswick brings It’s A Wonderful Life to the stage at théâtre l’Escaouette as a live radio play.
Looking ahead to next Saturday, the Capitol will host La Grande Tournée du temps des fêtes, featuring four of northern New Brunswick’s favourite Acadian artists, and on Sunday, December 22, Symphony New Brunswick’s Christmas Show will be presented.
MORE WEEKEND EVENTS
Wild Lights continues at Magnetic Hill Zoo; open daily 5pm to 8:30pm (closed December 24 & 25, last opening January 4).
Fun on Ice is back for another season in Dieppe! Each Friday night enjoy live entertainment, skating on the oval at Place 1604, hot chocolate, bonfires, and more. This week, music by DJ Madvibz.
The Wildcats host Cape Breton Friday night at the Avenir Centre.
The $2.99 Family Favourite at Cineplex this Saturday is Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch.
This Saturday’s Snapology session at Bennic is all about Vikings and dragons – along with the importance of symmetry and structure strength. You can drop your kiddos off for the morning and they’ll enjoy some incredibly fun learning and a sweet treat!
If your child is more into baking than building, consider the Kids Holiday Baking workshop hosted by Medavie Community Kitchen on Saturday morning from 10:30am – 12:30pm. They also have a session coming up on Wednesday, December 18.
The annual Holiday Tea events are back at Thomas Williams House. Enjoy local treats in a Victorian setting – sure to create some special memories! You can book by the seat or table of four; reservations should be made. Click through for all the details.
Need a quiet spot to wrap presents? The Moncton Library is offering space this Saturday and next! They’ll even share their supplies!
The Wildcats are hosting an afternoon game on Saturday, which is always great for the younger kids!
It’s Make Something Sunday at the Owens Art Gallery in Sackville. Bring the family to try your hand at freestyle stitching.
If you’re still looking for more local items for holiday gifting, pop by the Last Minute Holiday Shop – Chocolate River Farmers Market on Wednesday afternoon at the Community Hall in Riverview.
Did you enter our contest yet on Facebook? We have TWO FAMILY PASSES to giveaway to Scooby Doo and the Lost City of Gold musical performance in March; one pass to the show in Moncton, one to the show in Saint John. Head on over to comment; we’ll be drawing a winner on Sunday!
And if you’re entertaining this weekend or over the holidays, you might find these two recent podcast episodes helpful!
Christmas Lights Displays
We’ve been pulling together lists of amazing local light displays since Pickle Planet began & love all the suggestions everyone shares each year. Here are some highlights for 2019:
If you’re enjoying Wild Lights at the zoo, be sure to drive up Mountain Road towards Lyons’ Store; 3202 Mountain Road has an incredible display with 35,000 lights set to music playing. Our family LOVES this display!
Light Up Riverview features tens of thousands of lights along the Waterfront Trail, with amazing photo opportunities and a chance to imagine yourself in Stars Hallow or your own personal Hallmark Christmas movie!
Tune your radio to 107.7 FM and cruise along Warren Avenue in Riverview to find Sonny Arsenault’s house; for several years now he has set thousands of lights synced to music. (Check out this 2015 video of the home from 91.9 The Bend – but it’s just as awesome this year, we promise!) Keep traveling through Riverview along Callowhill Road, out to Pine Glen Road; there are lots of houses with light displays.
A trip along Elmwood Drive is a tradition for many, and for good reason! Right across from the entrance to Irishtown Park you’ll find a display unlikely to be matched anywhere in the city. Check out this great television story on the display and how it all began.
We’re hearing lots of great things about the houses in and around Old Shediac Road, especially on Branch Road, and the Pinehurst neighbourhood. And of course the Star Trek house near Centennial Park is a huge hit again this year – be sure to watch the upstairs windows, too! I always love the lights at the entrance of Centennial Park, too.
Downtown Moncton’s lights are always a treat, from the angels to the trees outside City Hall. Worth a walk through the city’s heart this holiday, for sure!
There’s also a great home on Chartersville Road with a display of lights set to music, as well as lots of great houses in that area. Other Moncton neighbourhoods will awesome displays include the Hildegard and Pinehurst neighbourhoods, as well as the North End around Twin Oaks; there’s a home on Pasadena Street known to go all out, as well as one on Salengro Crescent that also does a display set to music.
And if you remember a house on Oakridge from years ago, the family moved but some of their collection is now on display at a home on Falcon Drive that folks often mention when we ask for recommendations on where to check out Christmas lights in Moncton.
Memramcook & Albert County are both holding holiday light celebrations in their communities, so be sure to consider a drive through these areas, and there are a lot of homes along the Salisbury Road that are festive, too.
Whew! That’s all we’ve got for this weekend – now, to go finish the gift wrapping & make plans to take in all these fun family activities!